- Series: Esther Diamond Novel (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: DAW; Reprint edition (June 5, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0756407664
- ISBN-13: 978-0756407667
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 73 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,306,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Disappearing Nightly (Esther Diamond Novel) Mass Market Paperback – June 5, 2012
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“Swift, fresh, and inventive, DISAPPEARING NIGHTLY is Laura Resnick at her witty best. Not to be missed!”—Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author
“A paranormal screwball comedy adventure. Light, happy, fantastically funny!”—Jennifer Cruise, New York Times bestselling author
“A delightful mélange of amateur sleuth mystery, romance and urban fantasy.... Esther Diamond, (is) a protagonist as quirky as Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse…and with the sex appeal of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake.”—Explorations
About the Author
Laura Resnick was born in Chicago, and when she was a teenager her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up in a family of writers, daughter of SF writer Mike Resnick, she never thought she would end up in a writing career, herself. A cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied languages and linguistics. Laura can speak French and Italian. After college, she moved overseas for a few years, where she studed acting at London's Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Laura Resnick can be found at sff.net/people/laresnick/.
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The mystery isn't at all mysterious, the budding romance isn't remotely romantic, and only (very) rarely does the humor land anywhere near my funny bone. I have absolutely nothing against quirky, even over-the-top characters, but in this case, they, with the possible exeption of Max, are simply annoying. I've been a reader of all varieties of speculative fiction for over forty years, and this one just doesn't work for me. The premise might've worked in other hands, but here it just seems silly. The protagonist is whiny and in no way engaging. In fact, the author fails to make you care what happens to any of the characters and there's no real sense of foreboding or imminent doom , save, maybe, but only maybe, at the very end. And as for that ending, I find the fate which befalls the villain to be in the poorest taste imaginable; even were the rest of the book very, very good, that alone would be enough to negate any and all positives.
On the aspect of humor, I can give the author the benefit of the doubt because humor is such a subjective area; the other issues I have with Disappearing Nightly can't be so easily waved away. In keeping with the style of the book: bupkes.
Lately, urban fantasy is hit or miss with me. Disappearing Nightly held my interest through the entire book and that is saying a lot for me lately. The dialogue is witty, the characters are well developed, and the world is more urban than fantasy -- but still fun.
The setting is NYC among actors and various types of performers. The feel of the book is funny crime fiction that intersects with the magic world. The set up and scenes are funny and then the interactions with the characters is funny. There is a Stephanie Plum feel but with less slap stick and more substance. The characters are slowly introduced with time to get to know each one. Resnick builds her story slowly, nothing happens too easily or swiftly.
What is unique about Esther (the main character) is that she is not amazingly beautiful with mad fighting skills. She is pretty average in appearance and defense skills, yet somehow she is still appealing to the man she is interested in and able to survive some encounters she gets herself into.
For romance lovers there is a hint of attraction and romance, but no true satisfaction is had. This is a fun, quick read and I just don't understand why this series and author do not receive more attention. I definitely plan on reading the next one in this series. I don't have that desperate need to move on to #2, but it is nice knowing that #2 is there and I want to read it. I will leave you with a few funny quotes that demonstrate what a fun read this is:
"I looked between him and the fire. 'Did you .. did you .. Is that magic?' He seemed faintly puzzled as he waved a hand holding a remote. 'No, I've switched it on.' "
"Men can rarely resist a sultry beauty with tears in her eyes. Especially if they haven't yet realized she's got a p**** under that tight red skirt."
" 'We confront Evil.' 'Well', I said. 'Uh-huh. I see.' If someone ever tells you he's a member of a worldwide club whose mission is to confront Evil, I defy you to come up with a pithy reply on the spot."
"I was letting a sexy, employed, straight single man whom I really liked leave my apartment with a brief wave and no plans for a date. It was just barely possible, I mused, that I wasn't running my life as well as I might."
This is the first Esther Diamond novel. Though, out of print, it was fairly easy to find on Amazon. Having read and loved the latest two, I had to go back and read the first. I had to know how Esther and Max met. And I'm so glad I did. Resnick's characters are fantastic and flamboyant; and Esther's narrative is completely engaging.
Like most urban fantasies, a big mystery and an element of the supernatural is involved. But unlike the rest, the main character, Esther is not (at least for now) the one doing the magic. She is just a normal girl (with some unusual friends) put into incredible circumstances. Full of humor, adventure, suspense, and magic, this series is one of my favorites. The only problem with reading this first installment last, was that the ending was fairly predictable. But knowing the identity of the bad guy did not deter at all from the story. Like the others, this was impossible to put down and pure fun from beginning to end. This is a must-read series for urban fantasy fans.